Washington D.C. – By increasing the nation’s investment in key federal agencies, President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 is a bold statement of support for agencies’ critical missions, their workforces and the taxpayers they serve.
“The National Treasury Employees Union and the employees we represent around the country welcome the strong message from the White House that government services make valuable contributions to people’s lives and are worthy of continued investments,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon.
For example, NTEU is pleased to see the recommendation that the IRS budget increase by almost $1.8 billion over the current level, including a $642 million increase for taxpayer services.
“We have said all along that rebuilding the IRS after a decade of cutbacks will require the funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 as well as continued investments through the regular annual appropriations process, and this budget reflects that reality,” Reardon said. “And in keeping with the president’s overall message about deficit reduction, never forget that restoring and improving IRS operations will increase compliance and help lower the deficit.”
The proposal recommends increases at many agencies, including Health and Human Services, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. At the Department of Homeland Security, NTEU welcomes recognition that additional money is necessary for port security technology at the ports of entry and to hire over 400 new processing assistants, but we will continue to push for funds to hire additional CBP Officers, Agriculture Specialists and others within the Office of Field Operations.
The budget’s recommendation of an average 5.2 percent pay increase for federal employees in 2024 is a welcome start to the debate over federal pay.
“The Federal Salary Council reports that federal sector wages lag their counterparts in the private sector by 24.09 percent, which is one reason why NTEU has already endorsed legislation calling for an average 8.7 percent increase,” Reardon said. “But all federal employees should appreciate the advantage of having the White House recommend what would be the largest increase in 43 years to kick off the discussion about pay levels in 2024.”
NTEU also endorses President Biden’s call for a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy, which would be life-changing for federal employees and all workers across the country who struggle to deal with major medical situations in their family without falling behind on their monthly bills.
Additionally, the budget offers continued support from the administration for collective bargaining within the federal sector and for legislation to prevent another Schedule F type of scheme that would strip federal employees of their rights.
“As the appropriations process gets underway, NTEU plans to be there fighting for adequate agency funding levels and the necessary tools for recruiting and retaining the employees the federal government needs to address the challenges facing all Americans regarding health, security, safety and economic well-being,” Reardon said.
NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.